Greetings. Back at Winter Park after spending the morning at the University of Minnesota’s pro day, an event that featured more athletes than I expected and also a significant contingent of representatives from teams across the NFL.
As we stated earlier today, the NFL Scouting Combine is now fully in the rear view mirror and that means that colleges and universities across the country will be holding their pro days. At these pro days workouts, much of the on-field work is the same as the on-field work the players do at the Combine. A big difference between the pro days and the Combine, though, is that the pro days give players who weren’t invited to the Combine – or who didn’t workout at the Combine – a chance to work out in front of NFL coaches and scouts.
In addition, NFL coaches and scouts are also cross-checking some of the information they’ve already gathered on the players they’ve already seen.
“It verifies the numbers that we’re looking at,” Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman told reporters today. “Some of these kids were at the Combine…trying to see if they improve their numbers from the Combine. The guys that didn’t go to the Combine, you get an opportunity to see them and we brought a lot of our coaches down as well to put those guys through drills.”
But like the Combine, these pro days aren’t just about how the players perform on the field.
“When you get to these schools – because I’ll be out the next couple weeks at a lot of these pro days -this is when you get an opportunity to grab the coaches when they’re not as stressed or time constrained as during the season,” Spielman explained. “So you get an opportunity to visit with them. You get an opportunity to visit with the kids again one more time.”
Once the pro days are complete, NFL coaches and personnel departments will sift through the information and numbers to continue their evaluation of this year’s draft class. While the importance of the Combine and pro days should not be overlooked, Spielman also referenced another important aspect to evaluating a draft class.
“Again, they’re coming out here to perform and try to improve their numbers,” Spielman said, “but it’s always going to come down to what you’ve seen on tape in the fall.”
We have more information to share with your from today’s pro day at the University of Minnesota, including comments from Spielman and Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress about Gophers WR Eric Decker, LaDainian Tomlinson’s scheduled visit to Winter Park tomorrow and more Vikings issues. So stay tuned…
Tags: Rick Spielman
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